Monday, 4 September 2017

The Barrow Lead Administration is a Joke?

I think that the Barrow administration is focusing too much of its attention on bringing down the legacy of Jammeh and his associates.  This energy could be better focused on trying to develop the economy and repair other areas of governance. Such as the current administrative gap the executive is to appoint a vice president. Up until today, we are still waiting for transparency regarding the matter. The tendency of hiring based on compensation, political agenda, is an insult to the Gambians both those home and abroad.

Democracy means a government by the people and for the people. Governed by the parameters of the constitution. The people of Gambia respect the rule of law and we are aware of our constitutional rights. Mr. President, if you are found to have breached the constitution, we as the people through the parliament and judiciary will take the appropriate means to hold your administration accountable.  We the Gambian people ask that you rearrange and appoint a Vice President in a democratic and constitutional manner. It is hearth wrenching, to see the petite bourgeois politicians busy enriching themselves and enjoying luxury, while the peasants are getting poor and poorer.

Take the example of Thomas Sankara: As the former President of Burkina Faso, he has lowered his salary to only $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer. A motorcyclist himself, he formed an all-women motorcycle personal guard. He required public servants to wear a traditional tunic, woven from Burkinabe cotton and sewn by Burkinabe craftsmen. He was known for jogging unaccompanied through Ouagadougou in his track suit and posing in his tailored military fatigues, with his mother-of-pearl pistol. When asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.”

Sankara rejected the idea of foreign aid, stating that “he who feeds you, controls you.” Wheat production rose in just three years from 1700 kg per hectare to 3800 kg per hectare, making the country food self-sufficient. He spoke eloquently in forums like the Organization of African Unity against continued neo-colonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance. He called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting.

In Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country). He forced civil servants to pay one month’s salary to public projects. He refused to use the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was not available to anyone but a handful of Burkinabe’s.
He sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers. He reduced the salaries of all public servants, including his own, and forbade the use of government chauffeurs and 1st class airline tickets. He redistributed land from the feudal landlords and gave it directly to the peasants. (Pan-African Renaissance)

Why can’t Barrow follow a similar example? I have posed the question; we will wait for a response.

I must admit that Gambia at the moment isn't stable and the daily operations of government are gravely abnormal.  We the people, ask the Barrow administration to effectively work on their investigations instead of detaining suspects. For instance looking at the NIA9, it is imperative to note that at the start of the case there was no substantial evidence. Therefore, the government must take things gradually and cautiously before making any haste decisions, such actions may lead to dichotomy & chaos in the Gambia. Only when there is substantial evidence then one must act and hold those accountable.

In examining the Kanilai catastrophe, where there was an unusual bitter confrontation between the peaceful protesters and Senegalese soldiers at the entrance of the village leading to blood shell. Where residents of the rural settlement and the Foni environs demanded the immediate evacuation of both the Gambian and Senegalese soldiers in Kanilai.  Where innocent protesters were shot on their route to Kanfenda, namely Mr. Haruna Jatta, who was critically injured and was left in fatal situation as a result of a gunshot wound.

Unfortunately, Mr. Jatta did not survive the attack and was later laid to rest on the 06th June, 2017 in his native village of Kanilai. Which begs the question, Mr President, why has the commission of inquiry not been established on the Kanilai incident as promised? Every life matters and Mr. Jattas’s death must not go in vain. The government is always acting politically whenever their popularity is challenged. 

I argue that, even though there are several indictments against Jammeh and his crew. It is important to act when there is evidence. However, not to the mercy of the sinking economy, this needs to be addressed urgently.

In noting examples of such around Africa, In Kenya, the regime of Daniel Arap Moi took over power apparently to ensure the revenge of the Kalenjin ethnic group over the long predominance or alleged predominance of the Kikuyu. Logically, therefore, the security and safety of individuals in key positions of the regime rely on staying in power.

Looking at Tanzania, In 1964, the alleged “Arab dominance” in Zanzibar was revenged by a revolutionary seizure of Arab properties by the “Africans”. The rivalries between Igbo and non-Igbo groups in Port Harcourt, between Yoruba and Hausa in Ibadan (Nigeria) and other similar occurrences in the Congo Leopoldville, Rwanda, Burundi and others signify not ethnic conflicts per se but just sheer power struggles for the control of either major resources (wealth) or political power or both, by certain groups playing the ethnic card. (See H. Wolpe, Urban Politics in Nigeria).

In rebuilding a new Gambia we want. Policies should be re-written and all criminals and offenders despite of their political party, tribe, religion and position should be treated equally in front of the laws of the land. As per our national anthem “let justice guide our action towards the common goal”.

By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou


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